Life unscripted

The other day, I was working from home and went with Mrs. T to drop off both kids at their schools in the morning. Since I usually get to work around 8:30 AM or earlier, I don’t get to drop off my kids at school. On the rare occasions that I do get to do that, both kids always enjoyed my presence. On that very day when I started walking with the kids, Baby T2.0 asked: “Daddy, why aren’t you going to work?” This gave me a chuckle. 

Once we dropped off both kids at their schools (Baby T1.0 is in elementary school, Baby T2.0 is at preschool, different locations), Mrs. T and I held hands and walked back home together. Mrs. T then joked that when we are financially independent and not working, we could drop off the kids then go out for breakfast and do things that we wouldn’t be able to easily do today.

Her joke/comment got me thinking… What if we were financially independent today, and we could live life unscripted? What would I do instead?

About three and a half years ago I wrote a post called Fighting for Financial Freedom in which I guesstimated what my schedule would look like when we are financially independent and not working. My schedule looked something like this…

My life has changed a lot in three and a half years. For example, Baby T1.0 goes to school full time now, so I wouldn’t be able to play with him Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:30 AM. I have realized that a set schedule may not always work. I have also realized that I like to have flexibility and freedom with my daily schedule.

So what are some things I’d do if I had more freedom to decide my daily schedule? Here are some of my ideas:

  • Drop off kids at school each morning then pick them up in the afternoon.
  • Sit down with a cup of tea in hand and read a book. Read for hours without feeling guilty about how I spend my time.
  • Being able to watch a movie at a movie theatre in the middle of the day.
  • Go grocery shopping at the local grocery stores or Costco in the middle of the day.
  • Go skiing at one of the North Shore mountains on a weekday and take advantage of the cheaper lift tickets during weekdays.
  • Go to the pool in the middle of the day and swim for 1-1.5 hours rather than having to get up at 5:15 AM and arrive at the pool around 6 AM.
  • Not having to drive every day and dealing with rush hour traffic.
  • Go hiking with Mrs. T.
  • Go for a walk in the middle of the day without any destination in mind.
  • Volunteer at a local charity or the local hospital.
  • Go for brunch with Mrs. T at a local restaurant.
  • Spend more time planning family trips or figuring out effective ways to travel hack.
  • Having more time to work on personal projects.
  • Go for a photo walk.
  • Binge-watching a TV show.
  • Pack a suitcase, go to the airport, and purchase the cheapest airfare without any destinations in mind.

And many more.

While I do practice being financially independent despite not being financially independent yet, I realized that my weekly schedule is currently heavily dictated by work. Although I do enjoy my job and what I do on a daily basis, I’ve realized that having freedom and flexibility of my day-to-day life is way more important and way more empowering. 

So where does that leave us?

When it comes to my work, I am not ready to quit just quite yet. We are very focused on having enough passive income that would cover our annual expenses before making any major decisions. So for 2020, Mrs. T and I are very focused on reaching the $30,000 in annual dividend income goal. We are also very focused on optimizing our $54,906.02 annual spending further. After all, the more we earn and the less we spend means a faster path to financial independence. 

Of course, we have to constantly remind ourselves not to go down the over-zealous path of extreme frugality. We want to be able to spend money to enjoy life too! 

What about you? What would your life be like if it was unscripted and you were free from your day-to-day work responsibilities?

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10 thoughts on “Life unscripted”

  1. What a great post. You and your wife are already so mindful about living your best lives now, whether you’re FI or not. And yet you continue to work on getting even better at it!

    This is a great thought process that all of us should work through every once in a while. It’ll both help us to appreciate what’s wonderful in our lives now and what we can incorporate today, instead of waiting for FI to come.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. We are pretty much living your dream setup and let me tell you, it’s glorious! Slow mornings are wonderful, we are able to both attend toddler classes/library story time/swimming/skating/turf etc etc in the middle of the day with our daughter. Being able to read a book for pleasure for hours at night once the little one is asleep without feeling bad about it is hard to describe. Have you ever considered adjusting to part time as you approach your FIRE number? I didn’t think it was possible in my field but I used the power of FI to make it work. My wife retired early when our daughter was born and now I’m only in the office for 2 shifts then off for 8 days (on repeat). I honestly feel like I’ve retired early already since I can enjoy all the things you mentioned above in your post-FIRE world but also maintaining a 50% savings rate for our family. It’s been a great step as we approach our official FIRE date next year.

  3. Hi, What are your thoughts following the sell off on Mon, Mar 9. Appears pretty ugly and risks seems to have increased due to the virus. Are you still buying ? If so, which sectors/stocks ?

  4. The best part of financial independence has been no alarm clocks and allowing your body do develop a natural wake up and sleep pattern. My days are pretty much exactly as you described above but recently I did add 2 hours of work to the weekdays after taking over some work at my wife’s store for her.

  5. It’s really hard to predict. For the 20 years before I retired slightly early I got up every other day to run before 5AM so I could get to work on time. For the last four years, retired, my wife and I still do the same thing even though we’re don’t have 9 to 5’s anymore! That’s when our working friends run and we don’t want to miss that time with our running buddies. Plus it is nice to get that done early, pre-traffic, since we run on the streets. But don’t worry, the schedule takes care of itself.


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